Lenana's Story

On the evening of 18th September, 2006 we received news that a cow elephant had died on Ol Pejeta Ranch near Nanyuki, and with her was her milk dependent calf, who was desperately trying to awaken its dead mother.This female elephant and her calf had joined a resident herd of others in August, and at the time it had not been noticed that, in fact, she was extremely unwell.This rescue alert came too late for us to be able to take action that evening, so Batian Craig, the Manager of Ol Pejeta, assigned a guard to keep an eye on the calf during the night, and ensure that it was not targeted by predators attracted to the body of its dead mother or wander away and be unable to be found the next day.The Ranch lies within the foothills of Mount Kenya, whose three highest peaks are named after the famous early Masai Witchdoctor/Chieftains, Batian, Nelion and Lenana. Because of this, and since Ol Pejeta Ranch lies within the shadow of Mount Kenya, we felt it appropriate that our latest little female orphan, who is about 14 months old, be named Lenana.

Lenana's Story

On the evening of 18th September, 2006 we received news that a cow elephant had died on Ol Pejeta Ranch near Nanyuki, and with her was her milk dependent calf, who was desperately trying to awaken its dead mother.This female elephant and her calf had joined a resident herd of others in August, and at the time it had not been noticed that, in fact, she was extremely unwell.This rescue alert came too late for us to be able to take action that evening, so Batian Craig, the Manager of Ol Pejeta, assigned a guard to keep an eye on the calf during the night, and ensure that it was not targeted by predators attracted to the body of its dead mother or wander away and be unable to be found the next day.The Ranch lies within the foothills of Mount Kenya, whose three highest peaks are named after the famous early Masai Witchdoctor/Chieftains, Batian, Nelion and Lenana. Because of this, and since Ol Pejeta Ranch lies within the shadow of Mount Kenya, we felt it appropriate that our latest little female orphan, who is about 14 months old, be named Lenana.

As usual, at first little Lenana was quite “wild” and aggressive towards the Keepers, but within just a few hours she could not resist hungrily downing her first milk feed offered her by a Keeper, before trying to pin him against the wall! The other eight Nursery elephants were brought in to meet, and comfort her, and that night she slept in what is known as “The Taming Stockade” next door to that occupied by Kora, the biggest boy in the Nursery, who, along with Lualeni (the biggest girl) will soon be traveling to Ithumba to begin his gradual graduation back into the wild system. That night Lenana was exhausted, and slept well, again hungrily downing her three hourly milk ration. She was so anxious to join the others that we allowed her out the following morning, but she was still too afraid of the Keepers to accept her milk out in the bush, and since elephants lose condition frighteningly rapidly, the next day we decided to keep her in the Stockade with two Keepers to work on her and secure her confidence. (Indeed, just that one day without milk had resulted in the skeletal pronounced cheekbones indicative of milk deprivation). After two days in the Stockade with the Keepers, Lenana was out and about happily embraced by the others.

The photographs of Lenana beside her dead mother are courtesy of Ol Pejeta.

Lenana grew into a beautiful female elephant and was moved to the Ithumba Unit in 2008. She went wild with Yatta's ex-orphan herd and continues to roam with them today, visiting the Ithumba Stockades to see the Keepers every now and then.

Adopt Lenana for yourself or as a gift.

Important Note: Thank you for adopting and being part of the SWT family, it is important to note that your donation will help any orphan in need. Our orphans will need more than one adoptive parent.

Adopt Lenana for yourself or as a gift.

Important Note: Thank you for adopting and being part of the SWT family, it is important to note that your donation will help any orphan in need. Our orphans will need more than one adoptive parent.

Current Age

15 years old

Gender

Female

Rescued date

19 September 2006

Rescue Location

Laikipia, Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Date of Birth (approximate)

17 June 2005

Reason Orphaned

Natural causes

Age at Rescue

15 months old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Lenana's featured photos

Our digital adoption programme includes the following:

Personalised adoption certificate.

Monthly email update on your orphan and the project.

Monthly water colour by Angela Sheldrick.

Access to special content; latest Keepers' Diaries, videos and photos

Give Lenana the gift of life by adopting today.

Lenana's Calves

Meet Lenana's wild born offspring.

Lapa

Male

Lenana could not wait to celebrate her joy at becoming a first-time mum with the people who raised her: still wobbly on his legs, she shepherded him to meet us at our Ithumba stockades on the evening of Saturday 22nd August 2020. With the moon rising in the sky as they arrived, we have chosen the name Lapa for Lenana's first calf, which means 'moon' in Samburu.

Latest updates featuring Lenana

Lenana's baby Lapa

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Wild living orphan Sidai introduces us to her new baby

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Lualeni gives birth to our 30th wild born baby

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Lenana's latest photos

Lenana, Lapa and Kainuk

Lenana's baby

Lenana, Lapa and Kama

Lenana with Lapa

Namalok, Lapa and Lenana

Lenana

Lenana with a wild bull

Siku with Lenana